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Staff Engineer



Software Engineering
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024

Level 5

Salary band £90,000 - £110,000

10% bonus (annual & discretionary & performance based)

Hybrid 2-3 days in office

Automata is building a world-class company to disrupt the life science industry and empower scientists by making automation a reality for every lab.

We work with labs across the world to understand their specific workflows and needs and develop personalised solutions that range from diagnostic, and drug discovery to synthetic biology.

We're building our LINQ platform as a software and hardware platform. This allows us to simplify everyday automation tasks, while supporting more advanced paths for specialised workflows, in a fast, flexible, and cost-efficient way. Supporting the delivery of the LINQ Cloud and LINQ Workcell platform to provide new global multi-tenant and single-tenant environments for our customer

Why is this role important at Automata?

Automata's engineering team is growing to meet the increased demand for our LINQ automation platform from our customers in the life-sciences industry. We need highly skilled and experienced engineers to capture customer requirements and guide our customer projects and Product Engineering teams toward suitable solutions at the intersection of hardware and software in the life-sciences automation space.

Staff engineers at Automata are core members of our technical leadership group who contribute to tactical and strategic work.

They are very senior, individual contributors who spend at least 50% of their time coding. While there is no "one" kind of Staff engineer, the kind we’re looking for are T-shaped experienced engineers, with a breadth of experience and technical depth of skills who thrive on doing the hard work to turn complicated problems into simple achievable outcomes.

You will be responsible for:

  • Executing tactical technical initiatives:
    • Use your depth of technical knowledge and experience to lead architectural discussions for the most complex systems and find a path forward
    • Help identify ways to break down complex work. Suggesting spikes, Proof of concepts and creative alternatives to help unblock delivery of complex issues
    • Having a broader amount of context and effort to ensure you understand several work-streams across your group keeping enough context to regularly provide technical advice to IC engineers
    • Upskilling a team to enable them to tackle areas they’re unfamiliar with. Example; event-driven systems, de-bugging, patterns of execution
    • Participating in scoping and one step ahead efforts to clear the way for a team and de-risk known unknowns.
  • Collaborating with technical leadership group:
    • Identifying areas of risk and opportunities for improvement, increasing efficiency
    • Brainstorming around complex technical issues
    • Partnering with peers to explore approaches and feedback to the group
    • Help to drive execution of technical strategy at team levels
  • Being a highly collaborative and communicative technical partner:
    • Open-minded and happy-to-help attitude to become a trusted thought partner to product and design peers
    • Empathetic to customer needs and ability to collaborate with customer success teams and be a translation bridge back to teams

We use the following tools and technologies:

  • Python to write our application code, APIs and SDK

  • Go to write application code.

  • Protobuffs for serialising our structured event data

  • AWS for our platform infrastructure. ECS and Lambdas.

  • React and JavaScript for our frontend

  • Algorithms for our workflow scheduling solver engine

  • Feature flags, to enable us to experiment and control when we release new features to customers

We want to hear from you if:

  • You have a track record of technical excellence, delivering resilient systems, ideally behind consumer products

  • You have led technical initiatives to solve complex product challenges and manage trade-offs

  • You have experience working on Backend Systems, Event-driven, Data-intensive systems

  • You are delivery-focused and pragmatic. Code has no value until it’s in the hands of customers. Perfection is a blocker to adding value

  • You have a quantitative mindset: you care about outcomes and you make data-informed decisions

  • You’re comfortable working across more than one team

  • You’re comfortable dealing with ambiguity and have experience helping your teams and peers resolve that ambiguity

  • You have a continuous learner mindset and are looking to keep growing

  • Even if you don’t meet 100% of what is listed above it still sounds cool and you would like to apply, please do